"Simple Things, Guts and Dreams" is an authentic, honest and inspired collection of original songs from Newfoundland Singer-Songwriter Asetha Power. With a mix of both classic country and new folk sounds, and rich with references unique to Newfoundland, this album is beautifully relatable and heartwarming. As Asetha puts it, "I was raised on Old Country and Jesus in Newfoundland. That makes me a Country Eastern singer. I sing about everyday life here and how my faith gets me through".
Newfoundlanders living locally and away, as well as anyone nostalgic for a simpler way of life, will adore this album. Her lyrics are telling, clever and charming. While the melodies and messages are uplifting and settle in for the long haul. A sense of brilliancy and peace shines throughout her true tales of heartache, profound loss, resolve and resiliency.
Asetha writes of her roots shaping her todays. How faith and childhood recollections have carried her through a quick succession of devastation - the loss of her health, career, unborn child, mom, dad and marriage. How daily round and ritual, learned from her Mom, helps to restore her peace and connection. How faith guides her through grief and hopelessness. How resolve, self-respect and resiliency allow her to redefine her life. And, how unconditional love fills the new life she is creating with her little boys.
Asetha trusted her Facebook following - who have viewed her acoustic performances of original and classic country songs hundreds of thousands of times - to choose the 12 songs for the album, from a batch of 40. The result is an album about overcoming the worst of life through faith, self-love, family and friendship. Each song holds delight, insight, and inspiration. This album is a breath of fresh air. The best kind of company for road trips, commutes, workdays, and Sundays spent cooking and cleaning.
On "Simple Things, Guts and Dreams", Dave Fitz, local producer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, expertly captures the essence of what has appealed to so many in Asetha's live performances. A genuine, honest character. God-given talent. A kind, spunky spirit. A foolish and stubborn heart. As well as a deep connection to her faith and roots. Asetha's friends and fans agree she is a gifted singer-songwriter-storyteller with a homespun personality, angelic voice and irreverent humor that most often draw comparisons to Dolly, Emmylou, Jewel, Alison Krauss, Stevie Nicks, and Miranda Lambert.
Despite the profound losses she has experienced, and the challenges in regaining her footing, Asetha has triumphed. She has never given up on herself or the beauty of her dreams. Now, through a simple life, faith and music, Asetha feels she has found a place of belonging and comfort in this precious, precarious life. She has been fully embraced by a community of soft-hearted, tender but tough souls, just like her. Throughout her pain and suffering, Life has given Asetha some very beautiful gifts. Her favourite being the deep knowing that grief and grace are two sides of the same coin - with suffering comes solace. The response to her music, the support of family and friends, and the love of her little boys make it so.
On her debut album, “Child of Rhyme”, Asetha delivers beautifully original songs steeped in carefully crafted lyrics, playful melodies, and soul-stitched vocals. The result is a roots-based album with clear connections to folk, traditional, rock, country, pop and lullaby. This album has a child-like charm that is grounded and bold. Asetha’s voice, with an angelic quality most often compare to that of Alison Krauss, is spun with gold.
Upon receiving a 2006 F.A.C.T.O.R. grant, Asetha worked with Jason LaPrade – a Toronto-based producer, sound engineer and musician (dobro, lap steel, acoustic and electric guitar, banjo) - to capture her original songs. LaPrade exquisitely fashioned each song with the help of Murray Foster (Great Big Sea, Moxy Früvous) on bass, Adam Warner (White Cowbell Oklahoma) on percussion, Rosemary Phelan with backing vocals and Tessa Lewis on fiddle.
Asetha could not have been more humbled by the timelessness and beauty of each song and the musicianship, shared passion, and vision with which her debut album was achieved. She is forever grateful to the talented musicians, bright souls and gorgeous hearts that contributed to and inspired “Child of Rhyme”.
Newfoundlanders thoroughly embraced Asetha’s first album, “Child of Rhyme”. Eight of the eleven songs on her debut album received considerable and sustained airplay on CBC St. John’s and This is Newfoundland. Additionally, Asetha was interviewed by local radio arts programs such as “Liner Notes” with Angela Antle and “In the Spotlight” with Donna Randell. One thing has always been clear, Asetha is without a doubt proud Newfoundlander and distinctly spirited crafter and performer of songs.
Asetha wrote and recorded “Child of Rhyme” while living in Ottawa and Toronto and working as a research analyst for various federal government initiatives, including as lead writer for The Homeless Hub (www.homelesshub.ca), on issues related to housing instability and homelessness. The emotional toll of her work, and her own homesickness, inspired Asetha to write songs that would create awareness of the kinds of issues that contribute to homelessness and help to heal her own heart.
While recording the album, Asetha experienced a personal health crisis - a flare-up of a previously diagnosed chronic pain condition called Fibromyalgia - that forced her to step away from working, recording, and performing. “Child of Rhyme”, although it was mostly written before Asetha’s health crumbled, conveys the universal precariousness of life, the inner strength we all have to carry on, and the simple importance of taking care of ourselves and each other. It was as if the album was a prediction of what was to come and a celebration of the fortitude that would be Asetha’s saving grace.